StartupCamp Montreal 2 – May 15th, 2008

startupcamp_eve2.jpg

StartupCamp Montreal 2 has been announced. It is taking place May 15th and will be at the SAT again. I am a little sad that I will have to miss it because of another conference, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

Make sure you sign up, and if you are a startup, you should consider presenting. StartupCamps are one of the few places you can get no-holds-barred feedback on your business plan. If you are interested in presenting, add yourself to the wiki.

Date : May 15th, 2008
Time : 6pm to 10pm EST
Location : SAT – Société des arts technologiques

They are really stepping it up for this event as well and will provide a bunch of help and support for the startups that are chosen to present.

1) The top five startups selected to present at the event will have the opportunity to participate in a one-day pre-event workshop session. The goal being to have ?pitch? experts help the companies prepare ahead of the event. The workshop will be hosted by Austin Hill, John Stokes, Vincent Guyaux, and 2 other VC / marketing experts.

2) Presenting companies will have 8 minutes to present, with 10 minutes of follow-up questions from the event Gurus and the audience.

3) We will have ambassadors on hand prior to the event and during the event to help with match making and networking.

Weekend Reading – March 23rd 2008

We use the weekly reading post to link to things we didn’t cover, but are probably worth hearing about. If we are missing something, please post it in the comments below!

Capazoo lays off 60 employees and closes shop (Make sure you read the comments!). Also, Valleywag linked to us in their post about the collapse.

DemoCamp Edmonton is set for March 26th and it’s looking great.

OCRI is sour, grapes by David Crow, and a response: No ‘sour grapes’ for OCRI

ICE08 is taking place this week in Toronto

Rick Segal announces tour dates [lessons for VCs]

Rick Segal is going on tour. The idea? Get the message out there about what he, and other VCs, are looking for when they evaluate new opportunities, and help entrepreneurs get a better understanding of what VCs try to do. He will also be providing some useful tools, like sample term sheets.

This comes as there has been more publicity about the performance of private Venture Capital funds in Canada, and a significant amount of discussion about whether or not it is a good idea to start a company in Canada.

There is definitely a perception out there of VCs in ivory towers who expect everything to come to them. This is in stark contrast to the attitude that most entrepreneurs encounter when in the valley or elsewhere with a strong VC ecosystem. You get used to seeing VCs out at practically every community event, listening closely and watching as entrepreneurs grow. Those traits are rare here. As someone said to me recently “In any other business, if you complained you had no customers, everyone would tell you you are an idiot. We need to get out there an hustle, we need to find those customers.”

What Rick is doing is an example of how you can get out of your tower and start mingling with the plebs. The fact is, Canadian VCs aren’t poaching all sorts of great deals from other places, instead they rely on Canada to produce investible startups, and the best way to recognize that is to get involved and to take a long-term view. Venture Capital is only one piece of a big picture, but it is critical that VCs begin to mature along with our Angels and Entrepreneurs.

There has been a significant amount of anti-VC sentiment in the Canadian startup community and it is probably more related to a feeling of VCs being an unknown than anything else.

Here are the dates that are set up so far, starting on the east coast

  • April 14th Morning – Halifax NS
  • April 14th Evening – Moncton NB
  • April 15th Evening – St John’s NF

If you want to register, email rick at jlaventures dot com with “VC Roundtable” in the subject.